A Conversation with John Hendrickson

The Vanderbilt Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences invites you to join us for an afternoon with author John Hendrickson as we talk about his life as a person who stutters and his new book on the subject, Life on Delay. The conversation will be facilitated Jack Henderson, MS, CCC-SLP, a person who stutters, speech-language pathologist at the Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center, and Director of Camp TALKS (Talking And Learning with Kids who Stutter). 

Sunday, April 30, 2023 - 3:00 pm

Vanderbilt Medical Center East - South Tower - Room 8380 - 1215 21st Avenue South, Nashville, Tennessee

This event is free of charge, but please let us know if you will be attending so we can send you parking information. 

RSVP to kate.carney@vumc.org or jack.k.henderson@vumc.org.

John Hendrickson

JOHN HENDRICKSON is a senior editor at The Atlantic. He previously wrote and edited for Rolling StoneEsquire, and The Denver Post. His Atlantic feature “What Joe Biden Can’t Bring Himself to Say” was named one of the best stories of 2019 by Longform. He lives in New York City with his wife

An intimate, candid memoir about learning to live with—rather than “overcome”—a stutter.

In the fall of 2019, John Hendrickson wrote a groundbreaking story for The Atlantic about Joe Biden’s decades-long journey with stuttering, as well as his own. The article went viral, reaching readers around the world and altering the course of Hendrickson’s life. Overnight, he was forced to publicly confront an element of himself that still caused him great pain. He soon learned he wasn’t alone with his feelings: strangers who stutter began sending him their own personal stories, something that continues to this day. Now, in this reported memoir, Hendrickson takes us deep inside the mind and heart of a stutterer as he sets out to answer lingering questions about himself and his condition that he was often too afraid to ask.

In Life on Delay, Hendrickson writes candidly about bullying, substance abuse, depression, isolation, and other issues stutterers like him face daily. He explores the intricate family dynamics surrounding his own stutter and revisits key people from his past in unguarded interviews. Readers get an over-the-shoulder view of his childhood; his career as a journalist, which once seemed impossible; and his search for a romantic partner. Along the way, Hendrickson guides us through the evolution of speech therapy, the controversial quest for a “magic pill” to end stuttering, and the burgeoning self-help movement within the stuttering community. Beyond his own experiences, he shares portraits of fellow stutterers who have changed his life, and he writes about a pioneering doctor who is upending the field of speech therapy.

Life on Delay is an indelible account of perseverance, a soulful narrative about not giving up, and a glimpse into the process of making peace with our past and present selves.